Last updated: 31 December 2002
This page is for user comments and information specific to the new Meade ETX-105EC. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.

Subject:	105 and the Orion nebula
Sent:	Monday, December 30, 2002 12:06:21
From: (James Lowry)
Received my new 105 the day before Christmas.  I love the scope!  I also
own an LX200, which is my love and joy, but the 105 is just a great
every night scope.

Have been viewing, with my old ETX90, and the LX200 for about 6 years.
One of my favorites is the Orion nebula.  Two night ago, I was viewing
from a VERY dark spot in rural Vermont - yes I know, all of Vermont is
rural .  Anyway, I would guess the visual magnitude of the sky to
be between 4 and 5.

So now the question.  I swear, (and comments from 2 other views verified
it) that I could not only make out hints and wisps of BLUE, but I also
saw RED!! Not a case of expecting it from pictures, because I did NOT
expect it. Have seen it dozens of times.  But the reddish haze was
there, and not to be seen elsewhere.  Is that possible?  Let me tell you
it was an amazing sight.

Ah... the Wonders of our Universe.

Thanks for any comments, and thanks to one and all who contribute.

from Switzerland, visiting right now in Vermont
Mike here: Glad you like the -105. I saw lots of colors in M42 when viewing it through a 20" Dob. But only greenish through my LXD55 8"SC and smaller telescopes.

And then:

Subject:	105 dec motor fault
Sent:	Monday, December 30, 2002 12:13:34
From: (James Lowry)
Oh heavens..... not me too with troubles!!  Another soul hoping against
hope that Clay, Doc. G, and/or others can send soothing help. Please

Recieved a new 105 for Christmas.  Opened it a week early to test it
out. First night it works flawlessly. Next day, with doing NOTHING to
it, the Dec motor stopped responding. No sound, no movement, nothing!

Talked to Shutan Video where I had ordered it, and they gave me
permission to send it back for an immediate replacement. Came the day
before Christmas, and it was GREAT - optics amazing!  Not as quiet as
the first, but all worked well for two days.

Then I decided to work on the RA unit to tighten things a bit, some
backlash was evident, and I wanted to do some SMALL tinkering.  Then I
found that the screws were covered with those aweful feet and a STRONG
glue. Decided to forget the improvements, at least for now. Did a RESET
anyway, got a motor fault error. Did another reset, all OK, did a
calibrate motor, and had no movement in the Dec.  RA responds
appropriately, but NO MOVEMENT, NO SOUND, NO NOTHING from the Dec motor.
Using both the original hand controller, and my Autostar. Both the same.
No up-down movement.

I never even opened the Dec.... I swear!  Clay's advise had scared me
from trying.  Now I am screwed.

Please help...... any ideas.?..?..

Thanking you all in advance, and especially Mike.

from Switzerland
traveling right now in Vermont
Mike here: Sorry about the problem. It sounds like you may have overtightened the Right Tube Adapter. Put the telescope tube into a horizontal position and tighten the axis lock; does the tube stay put or does it go down on its own (due to gravity)? If it sags, then the lock is shot. Contact Meade for a replacement. If the tube stays put then it sounds like a wire has come loose. Since the telescope is under warranty I would suggest contacting Shutan again.
Subject:	ETX-105EC:  Update on "Mr. Magoo"
Sent:	Friday, December 27, 2002 18:32:02
From: (Floyd Teter)
I promised to keep you updated on the AutoStar repair progress with my
EXT-105EC.  As you may recall, the AutoStar performance deteriorated to
the point that my "GoTo" functionality was nil.  The final straw was
added in November - a smoking motor.  The scope was dropped off with
Meade for warranty repair work.

Meade finished the repairs on "Mr. Magoo" on December 17th, a day
earlier than originally promised.  After receiving the phone call, I
drove over and picked up the scope.  Upon returning home, I took a few
minutes to inspect the unit.  I immediately noticed that the tube had
been buffed or polished - it looked better than new.  In fact, I briefly
supposed that Meade had replaced the OTA.  However, a distinguishing
mark on the bottom of the tube assured me that I still had the original
unit.  The base and forks also look pretty good - I was unable to
determined if Meade repaired the original or simply put the original OTA
on a new base.  The AutoStar hand controller was my original unit
(another distinguishing mark).  However, upon firing up the hand
controller, I immediately noticed that Meade upgraded the software to
the latest release.  Glad I sent in the AutoStar hand controller with
the scope.

The combination of my work schedule and Southern California's recent
cloudy weather prevented me from taking the scope out for a test run
until Christmas night.  I spend did spend one of the cloudy nights
setting my location and training the scope using a wall target in my
garage, so when Christmas night was clear, I was ready to go!

I found the easy alignment to be a bit challenging but not impossible. 
Even though I used Polaris as true North and used my widest-angle EP
(Meade 4000 32mm) for the alignment, the scope came nowhere close to
finding that first alignment star (Capella).  Fortunately, the
Scopetronix red-dot finder allowed me to line up Capella in my field of
view.  The scope was closer on the second alignment star, Rigel, but I
still needed the finder to line up. My alignment succeeded, so I tried a
"goto" Saturn.  It worked!!!  Dead center in the field of view!!!  I
spent the next six hours putting AutoStar through it's paces, including
walking away for 30 minutes and then returning to check my view of the
selected object (it was still dead-center).  For the first time in quite
a few months, I had a great evening with the 105 (including the
thrilling views provided by the new Radian 8mm EP the wife gave me for
Christmas...but that's another review I'll have to send you).

One note:  after about four hours, the AutoStar got a bit whacky -
seemed to "lose" alignment and started some crazy slewing.  An attempt
to realign failed miserably (the thing wouldn't hold still long enough).
However, I think it had to do with the hand controller getting cold. 
The temperature was down into the 30s, and I semi-remembered reading
something on your site about AutoStar controllers and cold temperatures.
I took the AutoStar controller into the house for 10 minutes to warm it
up (I used the original 105 hand controller during that time, and the
scope worked just fine that way).  I subsequently reconnected the
AutoStar controller, successfully aligned, and AutoStar worked like a
champ for the rest of the evening.  My thanks to you for the tip.

In conclusion, I'm pretty doggone happy with the 105 again.  Meade not
only stood behind their warranty by fixing the scope, they added in
several extra repair/maintenance steps that I did not expect.  The
performance of my 105 is once again exceeding my expectations.  My
thanks to you and your readers for all your help and encouragement in
getting me through this experience!

I guess I'll have to rename the scope.  "Mr. Magoo" no longer fits...

Best Regards,
Floyd Teter

Subject:	meade etx 105
Sent:	Friday, December 27, 2002 18:21:10
From: (The Bostons)
You asked if I  received a Autostar with my new scope and I now know
that I did not. All I got was the "standard" equipment, no extras. I've
learned that I'm getting the "special" Plosal lens package they are
offering at a great discount. Is this going to be a great inconvenience
for me or will it just force me to learn my way around the universe
"manually"? Besides the Barlow, extra eye peices, and tripod would you
recommend I make the Autostar my first optional purchase? By the way,
which tripod do you suggest?

Mike here: The eyepieces will add greatly to your enjoy and with the range of the set you likely won't need a Barlow Lens. Unless you are willing to learn the night sky you should consider getting an Autostar if you want to make maximum use of your telescope. Even if you know the night sky, the Autostar can help you enjoy the Universe. As to a tripod, the Meade #884 is a good choice right now. But there are others; see the Accessory Reviews - Tripods page for some ideas.
Subject:	etx105ec
Sent:	Thursday, December 26, 2002 9:41:45
From: (The Bostons)
At 58, or is it 59, the closest thing to a telescope I've looked through
was on a dear rifle.  Low and behold, Santa's brought me a Meade
ETX-105EC.  I'm thrilled but intimidated. What's the single best advice
you can give a guy who may be able to find the Moon and maybe Venus with
the naked eye, of course. I'm really wanting to get the most out of this
gift from my precious family but don't want to throw away money on
gadgets that aren't really going to enhance my enjoyment of the
Owasso, OK
Mike here: Welcome to a wider universe! My first recommendation is to read the manual, several times while playing with the telescope indoors. My next recommendation is to learn the night sky. Did you get an Autostar? If so, it will help you locate objects to view but you have to understand what objects will look like (that is, don't expect to see colors and details like you see in photographs). As to gadgets, a Barlow Lens and/or additional eyepieces can provide increased viewing pleasure. A tripod can provide a better viewing platform that a table. But what you really NEED will depend upon HOW you plan to use the telescope and you likely won't know that until you learn more. There is a lot of info on my ETX site; browse around.
Subject:	Re: ETX 105 ota removal
Sent:	Friday, December 20, 2002 7:37:08
From: (Clay Sherrod)
To: (Fernando Pertuz)
Hello Fernando....please note my new e-mail address:

Your problem is common and it is VERY difficult to remove the OTA of the
105 from the forks without damaging the attachment pins that are in
place.  If you intended to use it for anything but a guide scope I would
not recommend you attempting to remove it.

You should take out the four screws which you know, then gently separate
the two fork arms away from the OTA (it helps to have another pair of
hands to do this) while pulling the OTA straight back.  You will find
that if you gently "rotate" (even though it will not move) the OTA in
your hand as you pull, it will break free.  Start with the LEFT fork arm
(undriven side) first and then after it snaps away continue to carefully
support the tube while attempting the same with the right side.

It is going to be difficult, so be will take some time
before you get the trick of it.

Dr. Clay
Arkansas Sky Observatory
MPC/cbat Obs. H43

----- Original Message -----
> Dr. Sherrod
> I would appreciate your help on the following. We have an ETX 105 that we wish
> to use as a spotting scope.
> With the ETX 90 the OTA would come off by removing the 4 hex screws on the side
> plates and pulling the OTA back by gently prying the side plates out.
> I tried the same with the 105 but the plates are very tight and seem to be held
> in place by other means.
> Is there any other thing holding the ota on? How do i remove this OTA?
> Thank you for you assistance.
> Fernando Pertuz
> Barranquilla, Colombia

Subject:	Re: Re: Re: ETX 105 EC
Sent:	Thursday, December 12, 2002 1:45:38
From: (Ian Docherty)
Thanks for the cindidence boost but they cant possibly be as bad as me,
the telescope is three days old and guess what, a nice smudged finger
print on the main lens, just off centre! My excited girlfriend pointed
at the lens after seeing saturn, which we found last night without an
Autostar, then found Venus this morning in its crescent form, very
impressed. I think this is going to suck money out of my bank account,
lenses, tripods, autostar maybe !!!

Any ideas on how to clean the finger print off without using the wet
solution, could I use a new unopened lens cloth or would that be a bad
idea, or should I just  leave it for now, as far as i can tell it hasnt
had any effect on the image yet.


Ian Docherty
Mike here: See the Cleaning Tips on the Buyer/New User Tips page. And like many hobbies, amateur astronomy can hurt the wallet.
Subject:	Re: ETX 105 EC
Sent:	Wednesday, December 11, 2002 2:14:58
From: (Ian Docherty)
I took your advice and I went for the 105, it arrived on Monday, what
can I say, after reading the comments on the site and various other
sites I had prepared myself for being disappointed with mechanics and
finish etc, but, Wow, its great, motors are smooth and as quiet as could
be expected, at the slowest speed there is so little noise you find it
difficult to believe its actually working !

As I am a new to all of this though I have many daft questions to ask,
but I shall limit it to three at the moment,

1. When you move the telescope left or right to position it then  move
it a little bit more, it moves more than a buttons push when you press
the button, then you have to move it back to position it properly, its
not a problem for me, just curious, Is this what people refer to as slop
in the movement ?

2. Should you expect there to be a little left to right movement in the
FOV when you are focusing the image ? Moves about a millimeter or so in
FOV when focusing either way, counter clockwise and clockwise.

3. How useless am I at finding planets and stars ?, I found the moon !,
well done I hear you cry !, I managed to split the lower star in ursa
major to show two stars, which I think is correct, although I may be
completely wrong and just out of focus !, now the fun part, tried to
find Saturn for a quick look before going in for the night, managed to
accidentally find the Orion nebula whilst looking Saturn, appeared as
cloudy mass with bright stars, but for the life of me I could not find
Saturn and according to my StarryNight Backyard it should have been in
the sky at the time I was out. Am I expecting to much from the 105 to be
able to see Saturn in any detail or at all ??? (I am using the standard
26mm eyepiece with no barlow lens.)

Thanks for the site, sorry for dumb questions


Ian Docherty
Mike here: Some movement is normal, especially at the higher slewing speeds. The optical design used for the ETX-90, -105, and -125 and similar telescopes (moving the primary mirror to focus) will create a small amount of image shift when focusing. This is normal. And yes, Saturn is definitely visible in the East shortly after dark. But it is some ways from M42, the Great Nebula in Orion, that you were looking at. Saturn is the orange-ish bright object to the North from M42. Check those charts again. And you will be able to see the Ring of Saturn with the 26mm. The image will be small.


Just realized that the whole ETX site will be reading this and
acknowledging how much of a dullard I am, but who cares I'm a newby,
back to the charts and the back garden !


Ian Docherty
Mike here: Everyone starts at the same level.
Subject:	cases
Sent:	Tuesday, December 10, 2002 7:39:02
hi could you help me in locating a carry case for my etx105 i live in
the uk and wondered if meade had released a case yet,or could you give
me any ideas for storage of my scope many thanks.
Mike here: Check the Accessory Reviews - Cases page. Also, check the Astronomy Links page; there are case dealers listed there. Meade does have a hardcase for the ETX-105EC.

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